In a letter to President Obama, Ms. Rice said she concluded that “the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly — to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities. The tradeoff is simply not worth it to our country.”
Mr. Obama, who spoke with Ms. Rice on Thursday, said he accepted her request with regret, describing her as “an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant.”...NYT
Update: The "stain" may reflect the generational and educational gap between many Republican senators and, well, most of the rest of the world. They're clinging to a kind of authority that reality no longer allows them, authority that does, in fact, contain elements of old, patronizing racism, sexism, and the just plain habit of condescension as an element of their hoarded political power. If you tried to take them apart on these issues, they would mumble something about the condescension with which they feel Obama treats them. And Rice. And, as this report in the Times hints, they wouldn't be exactly mistaken.
Typically, just hours before she called Mr. Obama to tell him she had decided to withdraw from contention as Hillary Rodham Clinton’s successor, she rebuked her Chinese counterpart in an informal meeting of the United Nations Security Council, telling him his views excusing a North Korean missile launching this week were “ridiculous.”
He shot back, according to witnesses, that she “better watch your language.”
It was the latest example of why Ms. Rice, the American ambassador to the United Nations, has so often been criticized as being an unusually undiplomatic diplomat, direct to the point of rudeness. But friends and former White House aides say that Ms. Rice’s style is a reflection of Mr. Obama’s own: impatient with niceties, uninterested in small talk or long dinners, focused solely on results.
“They share a common vision and a common style,” said Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state, who has known Ms. Rice since she was 4 years old and a schoolmate of Ms. Albright’s children. “Some of it is a generational thing, and some of it is life’s experiences.”...NYT
In many respects, it's also a liberal thing. I share Obama's "impatience with niceties..." You probably do, too. Part of the reason is that the "niceties" spring from ignorance and hypocrisy. Please give me more Obama and Rice and less of the cyanide-and-molasses cocktail served by entrenched power in Washington and the upper reaches of corporate America.
It would be interesting to hear the audio of Rice's talks with individual senators on the Hill as she tried to save her nomination. In the meantime, it looks as though the actual nominee will be Granite Man.